Tag Archives: urban fantasy

Hashtag Blessed

 

I was nervous all day. I tried to convince my author group that I was probably going to die. (Spoiler: I did not die.)

The Beer Guy and I sat at home and had dinner before heading on over to the bookstore, and I spent the last 30 minutes before we left bouncing around our home, trying to practice reading without hyperventilating, and freaking out about the possibility that I would mispronounce “geas.” (My PSM’s sage advice: “It’s not ever really used so no one will know.” She also helped me figure out how to correctly pronounce it, because she is aces.)

My other pre-reading activity:

A glass of white while practicing reading.

At one point, it occurred to me that I read aloud almost every evening. Sure, maybe it’s to my five-year-old, but that counts, right? I decided to pretend I was reading to a bunch of children, and that actually really helped.

The Beer Guy and I got to the bookstore about 20 minutes before I was due to go on, and Elisa, who is one of the nicest humans in the world, helped me get set up and gave me more wine (and a bottle of water) to calm myself.

MY BOOKS! ON DISPLAY!

The room filled up with friends (thank you all so much), Elisa introduced me, and then it was go time. I’d picked out three selections. One from The Cardinal Gate to introduce Eleanor, and two from The Waning Moon.

It wasn’t until about 30 seconds into my reading that I realized that Eleanor swears like a motherfucking sailor. I mean, I knew she wasn’t avoiding the cursing, but until I had to read out loud in front of a roomful of people, I had no idea how many times she says fuck on a single page.

This is my “what? another motherfucking swear word?” face

I think it went well. I tripped over a couple words (but not geas!), but everyone laughed when they were supposed to laugh and no one fell asleep or wandered off. After I was done reading, there were questions. A fair few! And good questions!

My captive audience mingling while I was signing…

And then it was time for signing. I signed a dozen or so books, got to catch up with people I hadn’t seen in a while, and apparently had a great time.

A few of us headed down the street to celebrate me surviving my first public reading with pink champagne (courtesy The Beer Guy, who really knows me well), snacks, and excellent conversation. The five people who joined me are five of my favorite Portlanders (I have ten favorite Portlanders…only half could make it), and it was so nice to see them all together.

A regret I often have is that I don’t take enough pics of my friends when we gather together…

It was an amazing evening, and I’m so glad I did it! I am so lucky to have so many wonderful friends who gave up their time and money to come listen, ask questions, buy books, and spend time celebrating with me. One friend brought me the perfect tote bag:

So appropriate, because my uterus hates me AND my author group has termed itself the “illuterati”

My friend and fellow illuterati author Mel Sterling brought me flowers, gave me amazing advice, took some nice photos, and asked good questions.

At the end of last evening, I posted this on my Facebook author page:

And for everyone who insisted on photos and video – you have The Beer Guy to thank for that. He’s the one who uploaded everything to FB last night. He also calmed me down, carried all the heavy books, made the reservations for the post-signing drinks, and procured the bottle of champagne. There is no way I could’ve done any of this without him. I really am #blessedAF

July Book Releases

There are so many exciting books out this month that I can barely contain myself! I’ll have some reviews coming up of a few of these, but today I’m just here to push you into purchasing books and being my reading buddy.

Out Today

Godkiller by Colleen Vanderlinden (psssstttt…today’s also her birthday! what better birthday gift is there than buying a copy of her book?)

The Cover

The Blurb

In the ten years since the end of the Undead Wars, Molly Brooks, goddess of death and protector of the Earthly realm, has achieved what no one would have thought possible: world peace. The Earth thrives under her protection, and her family and friends are finally safe from the enemies who have targeted her.

But not all of Molly’s battles are about her, and an ancient nemesis is ready to make his move on her world. With her mate and her closest allies at her side, Molly will face attacks from enemies both strange and well-known to her. This time around, the power of the gods just might not be enough.

July 15

Dustwalker by Tiffany Roberts

The Cover

The Blurb

A SYNTH SEARCHING FOR PURPOSE…

Walk. Scavenge. Destroy. Trade. A simple cycle that’s suited Ronin for one hundred and eighty-five years. With no clear grasp of his programming, the barren wasteland known as The Dust offers him purpose, a place where his armored undercasing, amped-up processors, and advanced optics can be put to use. The ramshackle towns on the edges of the waste serve merely as resupply stations between increasingly long treks. But one night — one human woman — makes him question everything.

A WOMAN WHO BRINGS HIM TO LIFE…

Lara Brooks struggles to survive under the strict rules imposed by the bots in Cheyenne. With her sister missing, she’s been on her own for weeks, and fears the worst. Her only hope comes from Ronin, a bot she catches spying on her. He promises to provide for Lara and search for her sister. All she has to do is dance. It should be easy; she’s done it before. But the longer she spends with Ronin, the harder it is to see him as just another bot.

A SANCTUARY HIDING DARK SECRETS…

In a city where humans are relegated to live in squalor, Ronin discovers a threat greater than any in the Dust — Warlord, Cheyenne’s tyrannical leader. When Ronin ignores the rules, he unwittingly puts Lara in danger. Warlord is as intolerant of disrespect as he is of mankind.

 

Last, but not least…

July 27

The Silent by Elizabeth Hunter

The Cover

The Blurb

They are called kareshta, the silent ones.
But the silent are waking.

Kyra has lived her life in the shadow of a powerful Grigori brother. She’s ignored her own desires for the good of her family, but an unexpected request from Thailand sends her on a mission that could change her life and alter the fate of free Grigori all over the world. Sons of the Fallen hidden in the mountains of Thailand have adapted an ancient human magic for their own purposes. Will this practice bring peace or lead to even greater danger for the Irin race?

A simple diplomatic mission sends Leo to Bangkok, but he didn’t expect to see a familiar face in surveillance photographs. He’s tried everything to drive Kyra from his mind, since he was convinced the gentle kareshta wanted to hide from the world. How did she turn up halfway across the globe, living with Grigori who may or may not be Irin allies?

Leo has bided his time. He’s given Kyra her space.

But this scribe is ready to hear a kareshta sing.

 

Notes and miscellany

I’ll have reviews of all three coming up in the next week or so, in order of publication date (so Dustwalker first, etc.). BUT, if you want to read along, go forth and purchase!

Colleen’s book is the latest in her Hidden series, and I am SO EXCITED to read this one. That was the first fiction of Colleen’s I ever read, and I just love this journey that Molly’s been on. (Plus, as you may remember, Colleen is my kill-count competitor, so I have to dig in to see how many kills I need to add into my rewrite of The Ruby Blade to try to keep up.)

Tiffany Roberts’s book is a new series for them (right? Am I making that up?) and I’m so excited to read what I’ve decided is a cyborg western romance.

Elizabeth Hunter’s is an upcoming release, but I’ve already read the advanced copy, and you guys! Once again, she’s knocked it out of the park. You are not going to want to miss the latest in her Irin Chronicles series.

Writerly Wednesday: Win Books!

Hi! How’s it going? Good, right? You had a good US Holiday yesterday wherein you ate grilled foods, day drank, and then bitched about your inconsiderate neighbors who spent roughly a month’s worth of wages on the loudest fireworks and set them all off until midnight or later.

 

Anyway – here we are on the other side of the loudest holiday, and probably only have 2-3 more nights of this bullshit before people run out of exploding things. Hopefully.

Next week, I’m doing an event with some other writers, but we’ve been doing scavenger hunt clues every day leading up to it. You can attend the event, check our Amazon book blurbs for answers to the scavenger hunt questions, and then tune in next week for chances to win summer book baskets from me and other awesome writers!

 

So come on over and check us out! I’ll be teaming up with Colleen Vanderlinden next Friday (the 13th!) to talk about books and killing! I hope to see you there!

 

***

I’m pleased to report that The Waning Moon is now available on Kindle Unlimited. Pop on over to read and enjoy! I’d appreciate it greatly if you’d leave a review when you finish, regardless of how you felt about it.

And if you haven’t yet read/reviewed The Cardinal Gate, that’s also available on Amazon as a Kindle ebook, a paperback, and through Kindle Unlimited as well!

***

 

Writerly Wednesday: The Waning Moon

I promise that some day, I won’t have an entire week of Waning Moon related blog posts. That week will be next week. This week? All Eleanor Morgan all the time!

So, as I may or may not have mentioned, I had a book release yesterday!

 

Ummm…so words! And things! I spent the day super not constantly refreshing my sales page. *pinky swear*

FINE. Lies. I refreshed constantly.

And then?

There was pink champagne!

How else do you celebrate a summer book release?

This book release was just as stressful as last one. I had this weird expectation that it would be easier this time around.

hahahahaha

Anyway. I enjoyed my champagne while I absolutely did not refresh A LOT.

You know you want to keep me in mid-priced champagne, so buy my books! Support your starving (that’s an exaggeration; I have a day job) writer.

I’m looking forward to digging into Eleanor’s third book. I’m about 2/3 of the way through the rewrites, and need to add a few thousand words to get through it. (There’s a lot of Raj in book 3. A lot.)

In other news – my newsletter comes out later today! There’s Raj (Chapter 4), a Waning Moon brew review, an announcement about a fun summer event I’m doing with some other awesome authors, and upcoming release announcements. (Sign up in the sidebar!)

Thanks for hanging with me for the last years, the book publishing, and the blog transition.

Sköl!

It was good champagne.

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Book Review: Reluctant Hood

Reluctant Hood is the first book by Kendrai Meeks. Kendrai is, presumably a pseudonym since her author profile on Amazon says she’s published a whole lot of other books, but her real identity remains a mystery. Probably. I can’t even remember.

After tracking her down to her lair, I begged for an ARC of Reluctant Hood because I wanted to read it so badly. I offered favors of all kinds, but unfortunately for everyone involved, I got the ARC no-strings-attached. (However, I am going to believe that the author likes me so much that she named the MC’s roommate after me. The roommate, Amy, who is a bit promiscuous, drinks a bit much…you know what? Obviously a very different Amy.)

The Blurb

Gerwalta Kline has wished all her life to escape the weight of being named after her infamous ancestor Die Verräterin, the betrayer, better known by humans as Little Red Riding Hood. Unlike the fairy tale heroine, the historical figure defiled her legacy, leading to her being executed for the high crime of mating a werewolf. Desperate to keep history from repeating itself, Geri turns away from her legacy, denies her birthright, defies her controlling mother, and endeavors to live as a human.

Fate is a fickle thing however, and it almost seems like Gerwalta’s name is her curse. In Chicago, she soon encounters Tobias Somfield, a wolf far away from his packlands in England, tracking another of his kind Tobias claims was kidnapped by a cabal of vampires. The last thing Geri wants is to get involved with a lone wolf’s problems, but circumstances don’t give her much choice. Tobias is right about one thing; the vampires in Chicago are up to something. Whatever it is spells troubles for hoods and wolves alike. Even if it means working with a wolf she can’t help but find attractive, and knowing from experience the danger of stepping off that cliff, Geri finds herself acting the part of a reluctant hood.

The Cover

I have to tell you, I friend-requested Kendrai on Facebook when I saw the book cover because it looked so awesome. I also noticed we had a couple mutual friends, so I figured she wasn’t going to use my pretty public FB information to track me down and axe murder me. (She’s more of a silver knife kinda gal, I think.)

This cover is gorgeous. GORGEOUS. And it’s perfect for the book. Sometimes I see a beautiful cover and then read the book and am confused as to how the two are related. This one? Not so much.

The Review

I unreservedly loved this book. The writing style perfectly matched with Geri’s character and the story unfolded beautifully and brilliantly. Urban fantasy is one of my favorite genres to read (probably my very favorite fiction genre) and is obviously my favorite to write (until my self-help book series, tentatively titled, “If you give me all your money, you’ll feel really awesome about yourself,” subtitle: “I’m like a faith healer, but without the god(s)”).

The world-building in this book was unique without being unbelievable (or at least any more unbelievable than an urban fantasy novel featuring werewolves, vampires, and hoods could possibly be). The characters are well-developed without being predictable. There were surprises throughout the novel and uncertain alliances and motivations that seemed in-character, believable, and in one very memorable circumstance, extremely upsetting.

The arc was well-paced, action-packed, and fast enough to leave me breathless (and unable to put the book down) without feeling like I’d been hit by a runaway were-train. After finishing, I accused the author of disrupting my sleep patterns and making me paranoid about being locked in my doctor’s office after hours on a Saturday. I’m sure she repented quietly and feels terrible.

The Quotes

Geri is funny. And her sense of humor is desert-dry — my favorite kind.

“Why clip-ons?” [Amy] asked, baffled by the choice [of gold earrings]. “Your ears are pierced.”

I could hardly tell her because, in the event of a vampire attack, I didn’t want to tempt fate further by pulling out a traditional post earring to defend myself, thus drawing said vampire’s attention to a wound gushing his favorite cocktail.

Heh.

“You’re asking to abduct my friend and feed from her on the honor system? Fine, take Amy. Let’s see how much they bust your balls when they find out you had to force her to go home with you. All your vampy charm and Jedi mind tricks, and you can’t even pick up someone on a college campus…”

Apparently, that’s how you piss off a baby vamp.

The Verdict

Read it. Now. You won’t be sorry! And then pester the author unrelentingly until she gives you book #2. (Seriously, this is a fantastic read and a great start to what I’m hoping is a very, very long series.)